Since their creation back in 1907 by Spaulding, basketball shoes have become an extremely sought after athletic shoe. With superior design and advanced technologies, basketball shoes don’t just reflect your team spirit, they can help you dominate on the court. That is because basketball shoes give you an edge over the competition and can allow your skills to really shine through.
Basketball shoes are so highly sought after, that even those who don’t play basketball want a pair to make a fashion statement. Every major brand—Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Reebok—have lines of basketball shoes and NBA players can ink million dollar deals for designing their own shoe or endorsing a brand.
Simply put, basketball shoes are exciting. Companies are constantly working and pushing the boundaries to create models better than the rest. Aside from flashy designs that let you make a statement on—or off—the court, basketball shoes give you a slight advantage over the competition and a confidence boost to help you drain that game winning 3 pointer or slam down that awe-inducing dunk.
Top 15 Basketball Shoes on the Market
Now that you know what to look for when it comes to the best basketball shoes, it’s time to determine the top basketball shoes for you. With hundreds in the market, it can be difficult to know what the best basketball shoes are. That’s why we’ve done the research for you and sorted through all the options on the market to provide the top four basketball shoes.
1. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top
Most basketball shoes are either specialized for comfort, fit, traction or style, but our first pick, the Converse Chuck Taylor, is the ultimate all-rounder. It is extremely comfortable and fits your feet like a glove. Add to the fact that it has a tough canvas upper and a bouncy rubber sole, and you’ve got a shoe that will last the next five years.
The Converse Chuck looks incredible right out of the box. It is simple, yet so stylish and tasteful. You won’t find a sneaker with ornamental colors, but instead an easy-going shoe with a high-top for adequate impact protection and great grip on the court.
Unlike other basketball shoes that would sag and appear tacky when worn, the Chuck Taylor has a full lacing system that goes all the way up your calves to lock your feet and protect your ankles from rolling. The textile outer has been designed to mimic the shape of your feet and provide a level of responsiveness that will give you quick cuts and smooth gameplay.
With regards to comfort, this sneaker is extremely lightweight and features an ortholite insole to further enhance coziness and prevent slip accidents on the court. Best of all, it is available in a variety of colors to suit everyone’s preferences.
Most basketball shoes with all these features would cost as much as $200, but this sneaker costs only a fifth of that, thus making it one of the best basketball shoes for budget buyers.
2. NIKE Men’s Lebron Soldier IX Team Basketball Shoe
The NIKE Men’s Lebron Soldier IX basketball shoe closely follows the Chuck Taylor as one of the best basketball shoes thanks to its comfortably constructed interior and incredible grip and traction level.
The high-top opening as well as the innovative strap system provides you with a snug fit that offers just the right amount of lockdown you’d expect from a quality sneaker. Immediately you wear it, it conforms to the shape of your foot to create a balanced and personalized mold for dynamic multi-directional movement.
Unlike most basketball shoes, this model offers superior stability and feels more planted on the ground thanks to its slightly raised heel. The rubber sole has a hexagonal outsole pattern that delivers excellent traction while preventing slip and fall accidents. There’s also a zoom air unit that provides low profile cushioning for extra support and protection.
Outside its performance, the NIKE men’s Lebron Soldier IX sneaker is stylish enough to be paired with jeans for a casual look and trendy look. It is actually a favorite of many players.
This shoe will set you back by about $100, but considering its functionality and beauty, it is definitely one of the best basketball shoes that offers good value for money.
3. Under Armour Men’s Curry 3 Basketball Shoe
The Under Armour Curry 3 shoe is the epitome of incredible performance, affordable pricing and extraordinary convenience. These shoes are specifically designed for heavy and powerful guys looking for plenty of bounce and lots of stability.
First, they are constructed from top of the line mesh for maximum breathability and comfort. Secondly, they feature a soft interior lining which allows for superior flexibility while making liner and lateral cuts.
On top of that, they have a rubber sole to provide great grip and traction on the court. They also have a criss-cross lacing system to snugly lockdown your feet for maximum security and control while playing.
With a shaft measuring approximately 4.5 inches from arch, it can be worn by feet of all sizes. They fit perfectly and are ideal for players looking for a mix of responsiveness, bounciness and impact protection. Everything considered, this is definitely one basketball shoe you should have in your arsenal.
4. The 2017 Primeknit Men’s Crazy Explosive from Adidas
These are lightweight and breathable basketball shoes that are uniquely designed to help harness your raw energy when you are playing. Their durable upper construction that features TPU yarns and the Adidas Primeknit makes the sneakers tough and capable of handling the rigors of your practice or game time. Their outsoles have the unique “ants-in-a-maze” traction pattern, which offers the best grip on any surface. Their unique anatomical lace system will wrap your entire foot and help in relieving pressure.
Moreover, the shoes have a highly responsive Boost cushioning system that guarantees you optimal comfort and greater energy from your foot strike. In addition, their grippy rubber outsole is designed to wrap up and around your midsole, adding to the traction of your shoes, while the Primeknit upper delivers a light fit and an adaptive support. The shoes also come with mesh inserts which help in increasing airflow and improving ventilation. This means that you will not struggle with sweaty feet when playing.
5. The Harden Volume 2 Men’s Basketball Shoes
If you are looking for the best basketball shoes, then these ones should not be excluded from your list. Upgraded to deliver a better fit and greater performance, these basketball sneakers have been designed to provide you with a combination of comfort, security and energy-return as you make your moves on the court and outperform your opponents. The shoes feature the Neoprene sock liners, which are made with a soft material that will perfectly and comfortably hug your feet, giving you a gently tight fit.
The textile mesh that is at the forefoot makes these shoes breathable and comfortable to wear. In addition, the shoes usually come with an adjustable lacing system which is able to adapt to any user’s foot, regardless of how narrow or wide it might be. The shoes have a wide midsole base which makes them more stable while their traction works perfectly well on clean floors. They are lightweight and flexible shoes that will guarantee you unmatched maneuverability while you are on the court.
6. Nike Air-Force 1 ’07 Low Men’s Basketball Shoes
If you want to purchase a pair of superior quality basketball shoes that will enhance your agility when playing, these could be the best shoes to buy. They are lightweight shoes with a soft and springy cushioning that guarantees you extra comfort. These shoes are made using great quality synthetic and leather materials that guarantee greater performance, comfort and durability. The shoes are designed with a perfect and comfortable fit, while their perforated toe front detail usually provides extra ventilation; hence you will not experience excessive sweating in your feet while playing.
Moreover, the foam sole usually includes encapsulated air cushioning for extra aeration and comfort while their non-marking rubber outsoles usually offer better traction and durability. They are modern and legendary style shoes that have been designed with keen attention to detail and usually come in a range of color variations to choose from. Besides using them for training and playing at the basketball court, these multi-purpose and elegant shoes can be used in many other applications.
7. Reebok Men’s Shaqnosis OG Basketball Shoe
Reebok might not be the first name that comes to mind when you are thinking of the top basketball shoes, but the Reebok Men’s Shaqnosis OG Basketball Shoe is not to be overlooked. Built with Shaq in mind, these shoes just might be the perfect option for larger centers. Right off the bat, you can tell that these shoes have great traction. They excel especially in outdoor settings and you can expect the shoes to keep up with every move you make.
The Reebok Men’s Shaqnosis OG Basketball Shoe features a Hexalite in the heel and forefoot to offer great comfort. Most shoes don’t feature a Hexalite in both locations, so the Reebok Men’s Shaqnosis OG Basketball Shoe really ups the game. While the materials on the upper aren’t the same grade as your typical high-end basketball shoe, they hold up fine and you don’t even need a typical break in period. In addition to everything listed above, the Reebok Men’s Shaqnosis OG Basketball Shoe also offers great support and stability. With a wide shoe base, you always have great stability and that is essential for spot up shooters. For budget friendly, high performing basketball shoes, the Reebok Men’s Shaqnosis OG Basketball Shoe should be given a look.
8. Jordan Nike Air XXXI Men’s Basketball Shoe
If you are looking for basketball shoes, you probably have heard of Michael Jordan. Well, the Jordan Nike Air XXXI Men’s Basketball Shoe is one of the best basketball shoes available these days and we’ll tell you why. These shoes come packed with advanced Nike technology to help you elevate your game. Made from quality materials means there’s no break in period. Seriously, the snug fit that the weaving pattern provides gives you comfort and security form the first step!
These shoes also fit true to size but are a bit wider. A few simple lace adjustments can help you find the snug fit you’re looking for though, and people with wider feet will appreciate the extra room. The lockdown lacing enables you to adjust the shoe and tongue to find the ideal fit for you. The support provided by the Jordan Nike Air XXXI Men’s Basketball Shoe is also something to admire. Plus, these shoes offer full length Zoom Air technology to cushion your feet and provide a spring in your step. This enables you to really feel the court beneath you since the shoe is so responsive to your every move. For high quality shoes that quality as one of the best basketball shoes, the Jordan Nike Air XXXI Men’s Basketball Shoe is definitely worth a second look.
9. Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe
From the world’s famous shoe brand ADIDAS, this shoe is one of the best basketball shoes today. It comes at an affordable price range for a shoe of its kind. With different assorted colors, the shoe can attract a wide range of men’s preferences. It can also accommodate any length of feet due to its available varying sizes. Its features include:
Leather Fabric The fabric on the shoe is made of leather hence the shoe can last without wearing out for a longer period of time.
Rubber Sole The rubber sole helps in preventing slipping while on the pitch. Moreover, the rubber sole is lightweight to ensure the player plays with ease while wearing the shoe. It also keeps the shoe waterproof ensuring it lasts for a longer time.
Grippy rubber outsole – The synthetic shoe has a rubber outer sole which offers great grip
Moreover, the shoe comes with a mid-sole and a sock-liner for light-weight cushioning. At the sides, the shoe has breathable mesh which allows the player to manage moisture and comfort while allowing ventilation. To sum it up, its an excellent shoe for anyone who want to play basketball.
10. Nike Zoom KD 9 Men’s Shoe
For truly fly basketball shoes that also excel in terms of performance, the Nike Zoom KD 9 Men’s Shoe easily makes the list. This shoe is covered in the front with pure Flyknit, a Nike technology that provides flexibility and comfort. The back is covered in textile mesh that gives even more support, plus there is a TPU heel counter with additional support. The Nike Zoom KD 9 Men’s Shoe also features full length Max Zoom cushioning. This cushioning is designed to adjust to your feet as you move, giving you unparalleled comfort while playing ball.
In addition, the Nike Zoom KD 9 Men’s Shoe also comes with great traction. You’ll need to wipe here and there, but the traction grips the floor well and you shouldn’t have any issues. These shoes are a great option for guards who are cutting constantly and need to be quick on their feet. The support is limited since they are low tops, but with a great fit, you can rest assured that you’ll have the security and mobility needed to get the job done. For a great basketball shoe with advanced features and exemplary comfort, the Nike Zoom KD 9 Men’s Shoe is definitely a shoe you shouldn’t over look.
11. Nike Kyrie 4 Basketball Men’s Shoe
If you want to play like Kyrie Irving then you need shoes designed specifically for Kyrie Irving. That is where the Nike Kyrie 4 Basketball Men’s Shoe comes into play. These shows are a mix of support and flexibility so you can make quick and smooth cuts while in the game. Plus, they also come with an innovate outsole that gives you traction no matter where you’re balling out. The Flex Groove Outsole is different than any other option you’ll find on the market and it allows maximum flexibility.
In addition to everything listed above, these top basketball shoes also feature Nike Zoom Air cushioning in the heel. This absorbs shock and impact throughout game play, which means less fatigue and stress on your feet and joints. The Nike Kyrie 4 Basketball Men’s Shoe also offers adequate ankle support to protect you while you play. Not only do these shoes feature breathable fabric to keep your feet cool and dry, but they’re also below average when it comes to cost. For an affordable pair of great basketball shoes that allow you to cut and excel just like Kyrie Irving, look no further than the Nike Kyrie 4 Basketball Men’s Shoe.
12. NIKE Men’s The Air Overplay IX Basketball Shoe
The next basketball shoes that we have one the list also comes from the popular sports shoe brand Nike. The Nike Men’s The Air Overplay IX Basketball Shoe is considered to be one of the well-ventilated pairs of shoes for basketball players.
The upper shell of the shoes features the perfect combination of synthetic materials and mesh materials. The toe cap is made from synthetic leather which can provide the feet with proper protection and support. The sides of the upper shell are designed with durable mesh construction to keep the feet comfortable during the game.
With its 1/2 -length boot construction, you are assured that the shoes will have the perfect fit. At the same time, this design delivers enough support that your ankles need during the game.
The shoes’ midsole is made up of Full Phylon material which supports the ankle and cushions the ball of the foot. On the other hand, its outsole is made of high-quality rubber and features a herringbone pattern that boosts grip and adds more traction to the feet.
The shoes come in three simple yet attractive color combinations—Black/Anthracite/White/Dark Grey, White/Pure Platinum, Black/White/ University Red.
13. Jordan Air VI (6) Retro (Gatorade)
If you want a pair of shoes that will bring you a blast from the past (to the good ol’ days when Michael Jordan is still playing), the Jordan Air VI Retro is the best option that you have. The design of this pair of basketball shoes is a total standout, especially with its black, orange, white, and green combination. This retro look is an excellent reminder of the basketball shoes of yesteryears.
But when it comes to its functionality, these shoes are as modern as basketball shoes can get. First and foremost, the shoes have a high cut design that provides adequate support and stability to the ankle. While the upper shell of the shoes does not have any mesh design, perforated holes adorn the shoes’ leather construction. These holes allow the intake and release of cool air for proper ventilation. The inner bootie of the shoes ensures that it will fit the wearer snugly. The tongue also features two holes which makes wearing easier and at the same time, keep the shoe in place.
The translucent sole perfectly compliments the colored midsole, boosting the style factor of the shoes and at the same time, provide enough cushioning to prevent different types of injuries.
14. Under Armour Men’s Lockdown Basketball Shoe
One of the best basketball shoes in the market known by its synthetic make that allows it to last for a long time without wear and tear. It is durable. In addition, it has a great and flexible sole.
The sole of this shoe is made of rubber. This is a thumb up for the basket-ballers since a rubber shoe has more grip and better traction as compared to leather sole shoes. The traction aspect makes it best for players since they feel comfortable and sturdy while wearing them. It also minimizes chances of slipping while on the ring. Rubber soles also act as shock absorbents thus there is a sense of safety in them. Moreover, the rubber soles are more durable since they make is strong.
Another great feature is its sock fit system.
This is a new feature in this type of shoe which makes it stand out. The mono sock fit system is a designed piece of internal sleeve put inside the shoe for comfortability. The sleeve is elastic and feels so comfy when you slip your feet inside. It gives you a feeling that you are actually having a sock.
This shoe has been crafted skillfully by man and programmed to ensure comfort during the training sessions
15. Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid Basketball Shoe
As a basketball player, you know tired feet will affect your performance. With the Under Armour Jet Mid, your feet will feel energized even in the fourth quarter. These shoes offer maximum comfort to keep you in the game.
They are stylish yet lightweight to increase your speed on the court. The textile upper is optimized for ventilation to keep your feet cool. These popular basketball shoes come in a variety of attractive colors to suit your tastes.
The cushioning around the ankles provides shock absorption and protect your feet from injuries. The mesh collar and tongue are padded for extra comfort against your feet.
The herrington traction pattern is engineered for a greater stopping power while turning and twisting on the court. The molded heel locks in your foot providing stability in your movements and the mid tops offer extra protection for your ankles.
The thin midsole gives your feet a closer feel to the floor for maximum control over your movement. The sole is less stiff and has an impressive bounce. They offer a comfortable ride and you can forget after-game injuries.
The flashy design will turn heads on the court as well as a casual wear.
You will love the EVA material used in the sockliner and midsole. Apart from being lightweight, they give your feet extra cushioning from the impact of jumping and running.
The mesh panels in the midfoot section boost breathability to keep your feet dry. It has synthetic leather upper mixed with textile.
12 Points to consider when choosing your next basketball shoes
You know you want a pair of basketball shoes, but what should you even look for? Basketball shoes are no small investment, with most reaching into the three figures, so you want to be sure that you’re making the right choice. The last thing you want is to get laughed off the court or miss out on a steal because your shoe doesn’t have the right traction. When you are looking for a pair of great basketball shoes, you need to consider:
Believe it or not, brand matters. If you step on the court with a pair of sketchers basketball shoes, don’t expect anyone to take your seriously unless you have skills like LeBron. Nike and Under Armor are two of the hottest options on the market right now, with Adidas not too far behind.
If you want nice basketball shoes, it’s going to cost you. That’s why it’s important to choose a budget before starting the search process. Basketball shoes can cost upwards of $100 so it’s important to set a budget before you get lured in by a brand new pair of Air Jordan’
Basketball is all about cutting and accelerating. That’s why you want a basketball shoe with great traction. You’ll want a rubber sole that is designed specifically for basketball. It also depends if you’ll be playing indoor or outdoor so that’s something to keep in mind.
Brand matters and so does style. The fastest way to earn some street cred on the court is to show up in the latest pair of Nikes and back it up with some killer skills. With countless color options and style, take you time to choose one that suits your personality best.
You also want shoes that are lightweight. This will allow you to run faster, accelerate easier, and jump higher. It can also limit fatigue and let you play longer without experiencing pain and exhaustion.
You’re going to sweat when you play basketball. There’s no way around it. Having shoes that are breathable or even feature moisture wicking properties can help eliminate odors and dampness building up in your shoes. That will keep your feet comfortable and dry and let you play without discomfort.
7. Ankle Support
Ankle injuries are common in basketball, which is why many basketball shoes are considered “high tops.” That means the shank goes up higher to offer more ankle support. It’s always a good idea to get basketball shoes that rise up higher and allow more ankle support.
How a shoe closes is also something to keep in mind. You’ll want to be sure that you can compress the fit of the basketball shoe onto your foot and ankle securely. There are laces, Velcro straps, and traditional laces, but you want to be sure that whatever you choose allows the tension to be distributed equally so there is no rubbing or pinching.
You need to be able to move quickly and unpredictably in basketball games and that means having a basketball shoe that can move with you. Look for basketball shoes that offer flexible soles to allow your feet to move naturally when you’re on the court.
10. Comfort, Support & Cushioning
When you’re playing basketball, the last thing you want to think about is the shoes on your feet. That is why you should choose shoes that are comfortable and supportive. Look for shoes that have supportive midsole and extra cushioning for good shock absorption. Shock absorption means less impact on your feet and reduces fatigue so you can stay on the court longer.
Whether you choose the Jordans, Nikes or Reebok, you are sure to choose a great basketball shoe from this list. Not only do these shoes help you elevate your game on the court, but you’ll also look fly off the court as well. From the Jordan Nike Air XXXI to the Nike Zoom KD 9, these basketball shoes have what you need to take your game to the next level!